A Constant Yearning

Tonight I feel as though I’m missing something. Something near and dear, but I can’t quite place it. I’ve been a recluse lately, partly because of my insane work schedule, but perhaps mostly because I fold into myself when I need to recharge. Many things are at work in my life right now, each one pushing or pulling me in a different direction. Unfortunately, the lack of sleep and endless work days have prevented me from tapping into my inner well of strength, leaving me constantly drained. I am so tired, on every level imaginable.

I need some time for me. To unwind, to briefly step away from the world’s cares and attend to my sense of well-being. I’m pretty certain I’ve paid more attention to my houseplants than to myself.

Nurturing a little gerbera daisy plant at home. It has 4 new buds!

This is starting to sound a bit like spiritual malarkey; trying to write about is difficult. Let me frame it a bit differently. I won’t necessarily be any more cogent, but so it goes.

In my “Meaningful Gamification” course, we are studying self-determination theory, which focuses on the degree to which an individual’s behavior is self-motivated and self-determined. SDT contends that human nature is inherently positive, that we naturally are curious, and show effort, agency and commitment in our lives. To nurture a person’s “inherent growth tendencies,” these positive human characteristics, we must satisfy three needs: competence, relatedness and autonomy. If these basic needs are not fulfilled, it derails positive, natural growth.

Competence, relatedness and autonomy. I’m lacking in each department. I don’t feel particularly efficacious in anything, I’m missing deep connections with others, and I feel like everything I’m working on now will only earn me an external reward that will still leave me feeling unfulfilled. I’m going through the motions of Life without internalizing anything I’m doing.

I suppose that’s the best way to describe it. I’m aware that this is most likely a fleeting feeling. This yearning for something more, something deep and beautiful and above all, fulfilling. The fact that this yearning even exists should be evidence enough of that. All the pretty baubles in the world don’t mean anything without a sense of self in relation to them.

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